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By Jean Strahlendorf
Special to The PREVIEW
On July 27, the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship (PUUF) will present a talk by Julie Loar entitled “The Gospel of Judas.” When the bound papyrus pages of this lost gospel were found hidden in a cavern in Egypt, and finally reached those who could translate and unlock their meaning in the 1970s and 1980s, the scholars were astounded. These pages had not been seen since the early days of Christianity, when they were condemned as heresy, most likely by Irenaeus in 180 C.E. Few experts even believed this document existed.
National Geographic released a stunning documentary around Easter of 2006 after the document had been authenticated. The story is told from the point of view of Judas Iscariot, who history calls the ultimate traitor. Far from being the villain in the story, Judas emerges as the hero. In this radical reinterpretation, Jesus asks Judas to betray him for a higher purpose, and Judas becomes the role model for those who truly understand him and wish to be his true disciples.
Loar is an award-winning author and researcher who has served on the steering committee of the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship and has been director of religious education.
It is the mission of PUUF to “grow as a diverse community with differing beliefs and shared values. We seek to encourage spiritual growth and strive for compassion, justice and responsible action in our society and on our planet.”
Loar’s talk is based upon our fourth principle, “A free and responsible search for truth and meaning.”
The service begins at 10:30 a.m. in the Pagosa Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Hall. The address is Unit B-15, Greenbriar Plaza. Turn east on Greenbriar Drive off of North Pagosa Boulevard by the fire station, then left into the back parking lot and look for the big sign. All are welcome.